05/02/2005 11:00PM

Our Kes goes from Polytrack to dirt


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - This fall handicappers will have to regularly assess the merits of horses that have raced over the soon-to-be-completed Polytrack surface at Turfway Park. Thursday's Grade 3, $100,000 La Troienne Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs provides a sampling of what is to come.

, are not yet stakes winners but seem to have the potential to win one.

Upsets are nothing new for Our Kes. An Irish-bred daughter of Revoque, she recorded her three Polytrack wins in Britain at odds of 11-1, 9-1, and 9-2, in great part because she had failed to finish better than fourth in her first six races. Five of those losses were on turf, one on Polytrack.

Our Kes's last win, which came carrying 132 pounds in a minor handicap at Lingfield on Jan. 8, drew rave reviews in The Racing Post, one of Britain's leading gambling newspapers. In a post-race analysis posted online, The Racing Post noted that "there is no stopping Our Kes at present . . . when the gap opened up just over a furlong out, she was through and away in a manner which suggests there are further races to be won."

Whether those races come in graded stakes in the U. S. remains to be seen. Her high-profile connections seem to believe so.

Following her latest triumph, Our Kes was purchased by Andrew Rosen, one of the owners of Master David, who ran 12th in last year's Kentucky Derby after a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. Like Master David, who began his career in Europe, Our Kes is being trained in the U.S. by Bobby Frankel. Rafael Bejarano rides.

The 3-1 morning-line favorite in the La Troienne is Aspen Tree, the runner-up in the Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland on April 14. She earned a 95 Beyer Speed Figure for that effort and lost by only 1 1/4 lengths to a Kentucky Oaks-bound filly, In the Gold. Aspen Tree is cross-entered in Friday's Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.

Thursday's card also includes the $100,000 Mamzelle Stakes, a turf sprint for fillies and mares. The La Troienne and Mamzelle are the first of 14 stakes that will be run at Churchill before the conclusion of Saturday's Kentucky Derby Day program.